Amherst Town Clerk Shavena Martin Submits Resignation

Exiting Amherst Town Clerk Shavena Martin during an interview in July.

Amherst Town Clerk Shavena Martin, who was appointed in October, 2019, has submitted her resignation, Town Manager Paul Bockelman wrote in a letter to the Board of Registrars on Monday.

Martin’s resignation will be effective on Dec. 11, Bockelman stated in the letter obtained by the Amherst Indy. Bockelman wrote that he will be working with the Town’s Human Resources Director, the recently-hired Donna-Rae Kenneally, to post the Town Clerk’s job.

Martin had been on leave for personal reasons since late August. The Town’s website lists Susan Audette as Acting Town Clerk, and Amber Martin as Acting Assistant Town Clerk.

In early August, the Town Council dropped a plan Shavena Martin had presented in July, to consolidate all eight Amherst polling sites into one at Amherst Regional High School. There was significant public protest over the plan, which Martin proposed in consultation with Bockelman, School Superintendent Michael Morris, Fire Chief Tim Nelson, and Superintendent of Public Works Guilford Mooring, among others. Amherst residents cited concerns including long wait times and increased COVID-19 transmission risk if all Amherst residents had to vote at one site. The Town Council ultimately chose to keep seven of the polling locations, and add the high school for this year’s elections.

Martin was hired as Town Clerk after the job was vacated in June, 2019 by Margaret Nartowicz, who was in the post for less than a year before taking a job as administrator for the Town of Berlin. Nartowicz, who was appointed after the 2019 retirement of prior Town Clerk Sandra Burgess, had held the Amherst post several years before.

The Town’s website describes the Town Clerk’s office as “the general store of local government,” with management of vital records, licenses, permits, deeds and applications, along with elections and voter registration, among numerous other responsibilities.

Martin has “accepted a new career opportunity outside of the municipal field,” Bockelman wrote.

Martin stated that she was “forever grateful for the experience, knowledge and support I’ve received during my time here. I personally thank you for all your confidence, trust and guidance.  It has been an honor to serve the residents of Amherst!”

Bockelman told the Board of Registrars that he enjoyed working with Martin, who had “a positive attitude and a warm heart.”

Previously, Martin supervised and trained election workers in Springfield.

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